WARREN MILLER'S JOURNEY
A spectacular and action-packed round up of the latest snow season (Northern Hemisphere), a year of skiing and snowboard riding, fusing terrain park progression with the backcountry, and technical lines with endless powder shots. The 73 athletes are filmed by 13 camera crews on four continents, at some of the best runs in the world, from Morocco (for multi-sport footage), Canada, France, Alaska, Chile, Switzerland. Also includes a tribute to an athlete who pioneered the sport of snowboarding - Craig Kelly.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Considering this is his 54th annual skiing doco, all of them hugely popular, Warren Miller can't be called an amateur - except for that part of the definition where 'amateur' refers to passionate enthusiast. Admittedly, his enthusiasm is for skiing not so much filmmaking, but it spills over. He started with old fashioned 16 mm gear, and continues to insert an Intermission in the two-hour doco, for the sake of maintaining tradition.
It's a pity in a way, though the hordes of fans don't seem to mind, because the film has a cumulative effect, which is interrupted. But considering the amazing diversity of his audience, from over 40s skiers to teens and young couples with toddlers and babies, Intermission is probably a pragmatic element, offering a comfort stop for those on this Journey who need it.
And quite a Journey it is, covering some of the best and least known slopes in the world, with Warren Miller's unique narration - peppered with his dry humour and wry asides - providing a sparse commentary. But mostly he lets his choice of music take his place, as we perv on some of the best skiing athletes plough through virgin powder snow on 45% and 55% and seems like 65% runs.
But wait, there's more: old school and new school rivalries are touched on, but for highest thrills, Miller and his team capture the footage of those daredevils doing rail slides, some adding unplanned splits to these high-risk feats.
The helicopters take the skiers to peaks us suburban skiers will never set ski on, and we watch them course their trail of S bends with flying powder in harmonious patterns while the speed of their descent is reduced by a camera pull. Now we see them as mere specks in a vast white landscape of peaks and valleys, rocky outcrops sometimes covered by snow to look like blunted jags hiding beneath the blanket.
Much adrenalin is released, and that's just watching the film.
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WARREN MILLER'S JOURNEY EX
CAST: Featuring Bode Miller, Kent Kreitler, Micah Black, Glen Plake, Chris Anthony, Spencer Wheatley, Wendy Fisher, Hannah Hardaway, Toby Dawson, David Babic, Loïc Jean-Albert, Doug and Emily Coombs, Mike Hattrup, Tim Petrick and Warren Miller
NARRATION: Warren Miller
PRODUCER: Max Bervy, Warren Miller
DIRECTOR: Max Bervy, Warren Miller
SCRIPT: Warren Miller
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Chris Patterson
EDITOR: Not credited
MUSIC: John Erik Kaada
RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Warren Miller
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Sydney, ACT, Adelaide: June 3, 2004: Brisbane: June 18, 2004: Perth: July 12, 2004